Keep Smiling! – You’re Being Watched

Frequent media reports of overwhelming popular support for mass surveillance are propagandistic in tone and content. However, is there nonetheless some truth in the ‘happy Chinese panopticon’? An international comparative survey on privacy and surveillance in Brazil, Canada, China, France, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Spain and the USA found that Chinese citizens were the least likely to answer ‘highly intrusive’ (2.8%) when asked: ‘To what extent do you believe laws aimed at protecting national security are intrusive upon personal privacy?’ The respondents who answered ‘not very intrusive’ or ‘not intrusive at all’ made up 64.7% of the Chinese answers (50%+14.7%). Indeed, 83.8% of the Chinese respondents held that CCTV cameras were ‘very effective’ (23.9%) or ‘somewhat effective’ (59.9%) in this regard, figures surpassed only by interviewees in Japan and Hungary.

Law, Politics, Society